Random NBA Thoughts Playoffs #6

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  1. The firing of Doc Rivers was not a surprise. When James Harden said that Doc was, “okay”, the countdown began. Daryl Morey, Philadelphia’s GM, previously worked in Houston and brought Harden to Houston in a trade with Oklahoma City. Harden is now a free agent and if Philadelphia wants to retain him they can’t keep a coach that Harden said was just okay. Morey didn’t hire Rivers so he had little loyalty toward him but he did bring Harden to Philadelphia.
  2. I have criticized Joe Mazzulla in the past but I also should give him credit when it is warranted. At the end of game six in Boston’s series with Philadelphia and in game seven Mazzulla was able to force Joel Embiid to guard Jayson Tatum, particularly on the perimeter. This did two things that Boston exploited. First they opened up lanes for other Celtics to go to the basket. Second Tatum was able to beat Embed to the basket as well as be open for side step threes.
  3. Monty William’s firing by the Phoenix Suns wasn’t a surprise. If you think about it the last two playoff series ending loses were disappointing blowouts. It seems Williams is a better fit building team culture and would be ideal for a team like Detroit that is trying to develop a culture.
  4. Nikola Jokic reminds you of the guy at the playground who shows up to play pickup. He looks slow and methodical and is one of the last players chosen. After a few minutes of play you realize he is the best player playing.
  5. Did the Lakers find gold when they put Rui Hachimura on Jokic in the second half? I don’t know if they did but it did free up Anthony Davis to be more of a free safety defensively. Davis was great offensively the other night. Denver really has nobody that can guard him.
  6. The Heat shot 52% from three last night. They played a great second half in all facets of the game. As a comparison, they shot 31% in their playoff series with the New York Knicks. If they continue to shoot this well nobody beats them.
  7. The Boston Celtics are a sometimes team. Sometimes they defend and look unbeatable sometimes they don’t and look beatable. I find that if the Celtics allow under 110 points they usually win because they chose that night to defend. By the way does anyone know what happened to Grant Williams. Williams not on the court is a mistake. He is one of Boston’s best defenders against wings and bigs.

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